For all his wit and political brilliance, Bill Maher does have a number of problems that prevent me from really adoring him, not the least of which is his latent sexism. And here it is on display as he actually defends Rush Limbaugh on Twitter:
Hate to defend #RushLimbaugh but he apologized, liberals looking bad not accepting. Also hate intimidation by sponsor pullout— Bill Maher (@billmaher) March 7, 2012
Sorry – well, not really – but no. Issuing a half-assed statement and “apologizing” on the air about his “poor word choice” after spending the better part of a week hurling hideously sexist attacks at a college student merely for expressing her views that contraception should be covered by her university’s private insurance plan does not a proper or credible act of contrition make, especially given that he’s continued to pile on afterwards. If anything, these contrived attempts at appeasement make Limbaugh look even worse; it would only tar “liberals” (read: any decent and rational people) to nod and smile at it.
As for the campaign to remove Limbaugh’s advertisers, it hardly counts as “intimidation”. No-one’s being bullied; those sponsors aren’t being threatened or forced to act either way. People are simply calling into question their alliance with – and even support for – the most widely detested public figure in America. They’d arguably only be hurting themselves if they didn’t jump ship.